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Mid the sinless little children,
Who have heard his Come to me!' Yond the shades of death's still valley,
Now ye lean upon his breast, Where the wicked dare not enter, And the weary rest.
Even with the certainty of marring the exquisite beauty of this little poem, I have ventured to substitute for the fifth stanza, as it stands in the orig. inal, another, whose poetic merit consists only in what it has borrowed from that, but which seems to me to convey a truer sentiment with regard to that solemn event, which, as the greatest, must be the most beautiful, circumstance of our earthly lot ; and to invest which with images of gloom and terror seems as much at variance with the trustful spirit of Christianity, as it is accordant with the practice of Christendom. Such a stanza as this fails to express our best thought :
'Twas even then Destruction's angel
Shook his pinions o'er our path,
And struck Charlie down in death.
On our lintel set his sign ;
Willie, round to thine !
For many an anxious, weary day
Around this pallid face;
Each beam, each radiant grace.
Speak to us of decay;
To bear her soul away.
Save by the Ever-nigh,
Would listen to our cry ;
Which seems so nearly spent ;
May longer still be lent,
But see! a light is round her playing,
A smile is on her brow;
'Tis seen—and vanished now.
Does some kind spirit whisper there
And bliss to be revealed ?
From our dull sense concealed ?
We may not pierce the thoughts which lie,
Within the infant soul ;.
Untouched by earth's control.
By earthly stains defiled;
Yet happy is the child.
LINES TO MY CHILDREN.*
My babes! no more I'll behold ye !
Little think ye how he, ye once loved, Your father, who oft did enfold ye
With all that a parent ere proved, How with many a pang he is saddened,
How many a tear he has shed, For the eight human blossoms that gladdened
His path, and his table, and bed; And who-c
-can I finish my story! Has seen them all shrink from his
grasp ; Departed the crown of his glory;
No wife and no children to clasp.
And all the most sacred caresses,
In a mood that sheds tears while it blesses; The kisses so fond I have given,
The plump little arm's cleaving twine, The bright eye, whose language was heaven,
The rose on the cheek pressed to mine; Its warmth that seemed pregnant with spirit ;
The little feet's fond interlacing,
While others pressed forward to inherit
The place of the one thus embracing; The breast that with pleasure was troubled
Since no words were to speak it availing, Till the bliss of the heart was redoubled
As in smiles on the lips 'twas exhaling;
The girl, who to sleep when consigned,
The promised kiss still recollected; And no sleep on her pillow could find
If her father's farewell were neglected ; Who asked me, when infancy's terrors
Assailed her, to sit by her bed ; And for the past day's little errors
On my cheek tears of penitence shed ; Those innocent tears of repentance,
More pure e'en than smiles without sin, Since they mark with what delicate sentence
Childhood's conscience pronounces within ; The dear little forms, one by one,
Some in beds closely-coupled half sleeping, While the cribbed infant nestled alone
Whose heads, at my coming, all peeping, Betrayed that the pulse of each heart
Of my foot's stealing fall knew the speech; While all would not let me depart,
Till the kiss was bestowed upon each;